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German nuclear cinema in neoliberal times
Steffen Hantke

Introduction: nuclear cinema between normality and catastrophe Given the number of accidents that have taken place in nuclear power plants around the world since the commercial use of the technology became widespread in the 1950s, it is surprising how few films there are that depict such accidents. Compared to the number of films devoted to

in Neoliberal Gothic
The painful nearness of things
Lisa Mullen

of potential and the suppression of the object’s definitive conclusion finds echoes in the absences and narrative ruptures which characterise the post-war period’s treatment of bombs as cultural objects. In this chapter I will argue that atomic culture resonates with anxieties about objects and intimacy, and that this motif crosses and re-crosses the threshold between traditional explosives and nuclear technology. In the first chapter of this book, we saw how bombs created new ecosystems of undead life, and left behind object-witnesses and rubble that told human

in Mid-century gothic
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Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

nuclear family. In Gothic fiction, the family is not the safe refuge of the ideological construct of the private sphere but the site of threat, particularly, as many critics have noted, for its female members. 3 As James Twitchell suggests, ‘if the Gothic tells us anything it is what “too close for comfort” really means’. 4 It is nothing new to state that Gothic fiction revels in family secrets

in Gothic kinship
Bernice M. Murphy

of narrative is the frequency with which the sanctity and supposedly inherent moral worth of the nuclear family is violently rent asunder. In the Suburban Gothic, in other words, you frequently have the most to fear from those you are related to. In American popular culture, suburbanites are seldom menaced by a terrible ‘other’; instead, they tend to be violently despatched by one of their own, usually

in Gothic kinship
The representation of incest in children’s literature
Alice Mills

The chapter draws attention to the extreme unspeakability of incest in children's literature and the rarity of texts either literally or symbolically dealing with the topic. It analyses Crew and Scott’s picture story book, In My Father’s Room (2000), in terms of the Bluebeard fairy tale, with close attention to ways of seeing and being seen. This disturbing text (marketed as a book for young children) plays a father’s love for his daughter, manifested in his secret story-writing, against the Bluebeard story of secrecy, multiple sexual partners and murder. The boundaries of the unspeakable in literature for children have changed markedly in the post-war era, particularly in terms of problem novels for a young adult readership; but picture story books for younger readers remain almost uniformly committed to a depiction of the loving nuclear family with mother, father and child or children, where childhood naughtiness is the worst evil that can be encountered; incestuous behaviours by a father are barely mentionable and the incestuous mother unthinkable.

in Incest in contemporary literature
Steven Sheil’s Mum & Dad
Johannes Schlegel

. Since during his speech several cuts to close-ups of the family members’ faces occur, indicating their compliance and affirmation, the concept of the nuclear family as relying on mutual affection is turned upside down, if not rejected, thus bringing to light a hidden conception of the modern family as a disciplining unit. In light of this inversion, one might be inclined to take Mum & Dad as a mere

in Gothic kinship
Facing the apocalypse in Watchmen
Christian W. Schneider

have become unavoidable, since the danger of a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR becomes increasingly certain. In Watchmen ’s 1980s mindset, the logic of the Cold War’s nuclear arms race is re-created within the context of superhero comics; Judgement Day could happen at any moment, as every character, superhero or not, realises. This is the prevalent trait of

in Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition
Forbidden Planet, Frankenstein, and the atomic age
Dennis R. Perry

and Forbidden Planet provides a good example of the how the Frankenstein Complex can expose unexpected affinities between texts to reveal unrecognised adaptations. While the source texts suggested by Buchanan and others are plausible lenses through which to read Forbidden Planet , none takes account of the film’s Cold War context. It is this anxious post-war period, combining fear of a nuclear holocaust with unprecedented economic bounty (Worland and Slayden 140, 143), that sets the stage for seeing the film as a contemporary

in Adapting Frankenstein
Adapting Mary Shelley’s monster in superhero comic books
Joe Darowski

most of the underground cities. Grotesk, who was known as Prince Gor-Tok at the time, tried to rally the survivors of his people, but a mysterious illness brought on by radiation following the disaster killed them all, including his wife, and Gor-Tok was left alone. Grotesk now believes the disaster and subsequent radiation sickness were brought on by humans from the outer world. In a Cold War-era comic book, the idea of radiation wiping out a civilisation bent on conquering another part of the world would resonate with readers who lived in fear of nuclear war

in Adapting Frankenstein
Nordic Gothic and transcultural adaptation
Maria Holmgren Troy

constructed it in 1942 for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, home of the Manhattan Project during the Second World War and still an important site related to nuclear warfare and national security issues. Los Alamos as a setting, then, stands for the kind of scientific rationality – with a deadly twist – that has produced the uncanny ever since the eighteenth century. Because of the secrecy involved in the research and development geared towards warfare during and after the Second World War, Los Alamos moreover represents the other side of heimlich that Freud traces in

in Nordic Gothic